Reflecting on Reflections

Xavier Villaurrutia (1903 – 1950) was a Mexican poet and playwright whose famous works are the short theatrical dramas called Autos profanos. His notable works also include his poetic writings Reflejos and Nocturnos.

THE KINDNESS OF LIFE

A humble truth as rest,
a peaceful silence, a beloved book;
all known, and all remembered,
a quite daily wake-up in the hamlet.

Not the useless grief, if I do not reach
pleasure in the ripened cluster,
for my mouth, a kiss of love
and for my face, a peaceful mirror.

That is life, supreme kindness
like a blue scent of lavender
in a frugal room with lifeless shadows.

Closing your eyes with the friendly evening
and getting them used to the saying
that death will find them closed.

From Reflejos / Translation by MAR MARTÍNEZ LEONARD